The Inexplicable Logic of My Life - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

While not exactly similar to Aristotle and Dante in terms of the storyline, Inexplicable Logic contains the same strong character development, elegant prose, and compelling dialogue.

Perhaps the most significant and memorable part of this novel in particular is the relationship dynamics. There's Sal, Sam, and Fito, three friends with exceptional rapport. There's Sal's father and his relationship with Sal, Sam, and Fito, as a role-model and father. And there's Mima and Sal's relationship; Mima and Sam have a particularly deep connection, and as Sal deals with Mima's struggle with cancer, he learns to get in touch with his inner self to a much greater degree. Other relationships are not so wholesome, but they are still well developed and lead to a lot of character development for both Sam (who has an absent mother) and Fito (whose mother is a drug addict.) 

I really loved the way the novel dealt with issues of race, class, and homophobia, with a lot of nuance. Though there were a few instances in which characters attempt to make light of situations with misogynistic comments ("She throws like a girl" and the like), overall, I feel that Sáenz's work is progressive and enlightening. Fans of Aristotle and Dante and other works by Sáenz will likely enjoy this new novel and find lots to love and think about for days!



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